Where do you find yours?
Some days are easy.
The morning after the tornado. The morning of the big snow storm. The day after the horrific and unimaginable.
Anyone can generate ideas on those days.
Other days, the outrageous falls into your lap:
Sometimes these stories are in mainstream media, but most of us have sources we check daily for this kind of share-able weirdness.
But what do you do on the hard days, the days when there is no obvious topic?
What will you bring into the studio tomorrow that will be so compelling your listeners will not only really listen to it, but then talk about it to their co-workers and friends?
That’s the real difference between dominating performers and those clustered together back in the pack.
I remember the first time I met Ron Chapman at KVIL and he invited me to sit in on his show one morning. He brought in a briefcase literally stuffed with pages from magazines and bits of paper, even cocktail napkins containing content ideas. A career’s worth of material at his fingertips.
Ron had the gift of knowing the topics that would resonate with his audience.
Just as Steve Jobs had an uncanny intuition about products we would love before we even saw them, great talent is able to spot an article or billboard or bumper sticker, or watch some human interaction in a restaurant or gas station or mall, and understand how to turn it into compelling radio content.
Their best days are “unplanned” in the sense that they float a question, or get a listener call that sets off an endless stream of on-going entertainment, each comment better than the next.
They’re smart enough to recognize when to throw out the content grid and ride the tsunami.
So, what are some of your sources? I’m not talking about joke services or one-size-fits-all prep sheets. They’re part of the reason listeners would rather hear another song.
Who’s willing to share an idea or two to raise the level of every game in other cities? Stay anonymous if you need to, but I hope you’ll share.